Bend Bulletin - ‘Covenant of the Salmon People’ follows Nez Perce effort to protect Chinook salmon

This article was published on: 11/10/23 9:21 AM

“Covenant of the Salmon People,” an award-winning 2023 documentary exploring the Nez Perce Tribe’s ancient promise, and ongoing efforts, to protect Chinook salmon, is now airing on PBS stations. The film is also available for streaming at

The tribe announced the airings Tuesday and is promoting the film as a chance to learn about Indigenous people’s continuous efforts to hold onto their culture and traditional way of life during November, which is Native American Heritage Month. Traditionally, the Nez Perce ranged across 17 million miles in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, fishing at Celilo Falls and hunting buffalo on the plains, according to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Commission.

According to, the Nez Perce have subsisted on Chinook salmon for tens of thousands of years. Dams are pushing the species to the brink.

Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Shane Anderson, directed and produced the film, his seventh feature documentary since 2012. Anderson’s pre-documentary background includes fisheries biology. His other films include “Undamming Klamath,” “The Lost Salmon” and “Guardians of the River.”

If you’re in or around Eugene, you can catch the film at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the University of Oregon’s Straub Hall. Registration is required. For more information, visit